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Palestinians say protester killed in clashes in West Bank

August 6, 2021 GMT

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A Palestinian man was killed by live Israeli fire on Friday in a town in the occupied West Bank that has seen months of heavy clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces, Palestinian officials said.

Imad Duikat, 38, was shot in the chest in the northern town of Beita and pronounced dead at a hospital, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, another protester was shot in the foot by live ammunition and 20 others wounded by rubber bullets during Friday’s clashes.

The Israeli army said hundreds of Palestinian protesters threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops, who responded with rubber bullets and live fire.

Palestinian protesters in Beita have held repeated demonstrations against the establishment of an unauthorized Israeli settlement outpost there that they say was built on their land. At least five protesters have been killed in the clashes.

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Under a deal in June between the Israeli government and the settlers of the Eviatar outpost, the settlers left the area, but the settlement’s buildings remain intact and under army guard. The Palestinians reject the deal and say it is a step by Israel toward taking their land.

European representatives from West Bank Protection Consortium — which includes nine European Union member states and five international charities — visited Beita on Thursday, following concerns about the recent rise in violence over the Eviatar outpost.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek the area as the heartland of their future independent state. Most of the international community considers the settlements illegal and an obstacle to peace.